kiven feature

One minute you’re writing about the bands you can’t wait to see at South By Southwest (SXSW) this year, the next minute you’re writing about the bands you wish you could see at SXSW because some unforeseen scheduling conflict — brought about entirely by your own inability to read a calendar and coordinate properly — is preventing you from attending the biggest music festival of the year. It’s a story I know all too well. 

Luckily, crippling disappointment has now manifested into a need to share with you a sampling of the list of bands that were going to make my trip to Austin that much more fulfilling. For those of you lucky enough to transverse the musical landscape that is SXSW, take this list to heart and let me live vicariously through you.

American Authors

American Authors harness energetic, melodious sounds the way magicians handle a deck of cards. They make it all look so easy. The YouTube comments under their video for “Best Day of My Life” off their self-titled album all echo the same sentiments — American Authors sort of sound like Imagine Dragons — but putting the “sounds like” game aside, they do capture the same beguiling feeling as Imagine Dragons. Coming from Brooklyn, a borough teeming with musical talent, American Authors have found their unique voice while contributing to the musical world. If you’re missing them at SXSW, you can see them open for One Republic at the Hollywood Bowl on June 5th.

SXSW Performances:
1100 Warehouse – March 13, 11:20pm
Palm Door on 6th – March 13, 3:15pm
mtvU Woodies Festival – March 13, 7:00pm
IFC Fairgrounds – March 13, 9:05pm
Mophie Hangar – March 13, 11:00pm
Key Bar – March 14, 2:00pm
Stubb’s – March 14, 9:00pm
W Hotel – March 15, 8:30am
Austin Music Hall – March 15, 9:00pm

Adam Arcuragi

His was not a name I knew before researching the bands attending SXSW, but I have since downloaded Adam Arcuragi’s most recent album, Like a Fire That Consumes, and listened to it a least six times. Arcuragi’s music can be described as extroverted in a way that is not overbearing so much as it is inviting. He welcomes you into his world of simple guitar strums and intricate lyrics, effortlessly guiding you through so that by the end of the album, you’re left wondering how long you’ve been lying on your bed.

SXSW Performances: 
Valhalla – March 13, 1:00am – 1:50am
New Movement Theater – March 14, 1:30pm
The 6th Annual Saturday Music Matinee – March 15, 3:00pm
Action in Solitude/Gems on VHS Showcase – March 15, 9:00pm

Kiven

There is little to say about this Los Angeles native band that has not already been said. Kiven’s highly anticipated self-titled album, released February 25th, has already produced an attention-grabbing single, “In the Fire,” and a great following beyond the confines of the West Coast. Their driving sound forces its way through the speakers, a combination of pleasant harmonies and melodies comprising mellow tones and grit. They push boundaries, and they do it so well.

SXSW Performances:  
Official Showcase @ Soho Lounge – March 11, 10:00pm
Spin It Indie @ Shotguns on 6th- March 12, 5:00pm
The Ham Solo Sessions (Acoustic) – March 13, 3:00pm
In.sessions (Acoustic) – March 14, 3:30pm
Set.fm Hyde Park Showcase – March 15, 7:15pm
BalconyTV Showcase – March 16, 2:15pm

Other bands to explore:

Star Rover

SXSW Performances:  
Trinity Hall @ Old School – March 11, 8:00pm

Beware of Darkness

SXSW Performances: 
Trinity Hall @ Old School – March 13, 1:00am

The Cold and Lovely

SXSW Performances: 
BD Riley’s – March 11, 1:00 am
Official SXSW at Elysium Nightclub – March 12, 11 pm (TIME CHANGED!!)
Frenchie Smith Records Party at Guero’s Taco’s – March 13, 2:45 pm
Swinghouse Party at 405 E. 7th At. – March 14, 5:30 pm
Austin Rock Camp for Girls Party @ Cherrywood Coffeehouse – March 14, 12:50

Via Audio

SXSW Performances: 
Headhunters Patio – March 11, 10:00pm
3100 Breeze Terrace – March 15, 5:00pm